People commonly associate the word rehabilitation with drug and alcohol addiction, but the term has a broader meaning for medical professionals. In essence, rehabilitation helps a person manage a severe injury or illness. It’s a time to learn how to cope with a chronic disease and begin to heal.
People struggling with addiction often fear rehabilitation because they believe it brings punishment and suffering. In reality, drug and alcohol rehab is rarely harmful. For people who need professional help to overcome addiction, it’s a transformative and positive experience. Michael’s House is a prescription drug rehab center in Palm Springs that offers substance abuse treatment programs. The staff assesses each patient’s individual needs and creates a treatment plan tailored to their specific situation. Call 760.548.4032 to find out more about the prescription drug addiction treatment program in Palm Springs at Michael’s House.
How Prescription Drug Addiction Begins
People who misuse prescription drugs and develop addictions sometimes start the addiction process with a genuine health concern. They might have received a prescription for medication to treat pain or help with anxiety. To heal, they need addiction rehab with an integrated delivery plan to treat the co-occurring condition that led to prescription drug abuse. This approach is often called dual diagnosis treatment. However, others struggling with prescription drug addiction may have developed it through recreational use or even self-medication behaviors. In cases like this, a dual diagnosis approach may not be needed.
Not Enough Education About Prescription Drugs
Prescription drug abuse is not new. Some people have constantly abused any drug with addictive potential. These drugs include:
Adolescents are the most vulnerable to developing an addiction because their developing brains make them more impulsive and impair good judgment. It’s hard to know how many teens misused prescription drugs in the past because surveys and studies on addiction didn’t always include these drugs. Today some teens think prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs. Education programs that target teens help to change this perception.
Accessibility and Legality of Prescription Drugs
Some experts believe the high rates of experimentation among teens and addiction among the population are due to persuasive marketing from pharmaceutical companies. As a result, there are more drugs in modern medicine cabinets and more temptation to abuse those drugs. Other experts believe the rise in prescription drug abuse is an indirect consequence of the war on drugs. As illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine become more challenging to buy, and the sentences for possession of those drugs continue to lengthen, more people turn to prescription drugs that are both abundant and accepted by society. Perhaps both of these issues blend and flow together and cause increased abuse.
How Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Works
Like most addiction treatment programs, prescription drug rehab plans start with a detoxification process. After detox, patients receive counseling and therapy to help them understand their addiction and how to cope with triggers and cravings. They might also be given medications to help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Psychotherapy for Prescription Drug Rehab
In a treatment program for prescription drug addiction, therapists determine the mental state of patients and provide them with therapeutic tools that help. Depression, for example, might have its roots deep in a trauma a person endured years ago. Anxiety may be due to a prior injury or a mental illness such as bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. A variety of helpful therapeutic tools help people overcome mental health disorders. Treating addiction and mental health simultaneously in a dual diagnosis treatment program gives people better outcomes and more help avoiding relapse.
Addiction therapy also helps patients learn how to spot a drug craving and what to do when a craving hits. Before entering a therapy program, patients may not know why they take prescription drugs. They might think, “It hit me out of the blue, and now I need to have drugs.” In therapy, patients learn drug abuse begins with negative self-talk or subconscious thoughts. A flutter of anxiety, a flicker of sadness, or a creeping sense of dread could all lead—moments later—to a craving for drugs. In therapy, people learn how to spot those cravings and deal with them without taking drugs.
To heal from prescription drug addiction, someone must also understand the societal messages that lead to addiction. Some people find participating in group therapy is an effective way to pick up this lesson. As they listen to person after person discuss how prescription drug abuse begins and how it spirals out of control, they understand the addictive potential of these drugs. These messages give them more motivation to fight back the urge to self-medicate and information on how to fight cravings.
Medications for Prescription Drug Rehab
Some prescription drugs change the way the brain works on a semi-permanent basis. People who attempt to stop using prescription drugs abruptly endure uncomfortable side effects as their brains try to function without access to those drugs. Other people may feel intense cravings that could lead them back into a relapse to prescription drug abuse.
Medications developed to treat addictions to opioids are helpful. These drugs latch on to the same pleasure receptors used by some prescription medications, significantly reducing feelings of discomfort and cravings for drugs. These medications include:
Medications like these treat opioid addiction and increase a person’s chance of staying in treatment. Medication replacement therapy allows patients to participate in addiction treatment without feeling overwhelmed by the need to use drugs. Some people use medication replacement therapy for a short time until they feel strong enough to handle cravings on their own. Other people use these medications for weeks, months, or even years.
How Prescription Drug Addiction Can Conflict with Controlling Pain
People who develop an addiction while controlling pain need more help from their physicians. Removing pain control may put patients in severe discomfort, often leading to relapse. Medical professionals have several options for helping patients control pain without conflicting with addiction treatment, such as:
- Using alternate painkillers that do not include euphoria-causing ingredients
- Using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches to control pain
- Encouraging patients to meditate and breathe through pain symptoms
- Encouraging patients to use ice, heat, stretching, and exercise to control pain
Some patients find these alternate methods so effective they no longer have pain control issues.
People with psychiatric conditions need to continue their prescription therapies, but addiction treatment teaches them how to take their drugs properly. Moving forward, these patients must continue to work with a therapist to build up their skills to handle the disease without drugs or with different medications. Patients who bond with their therapists are more likely to reduce their symptoms and avoid relapse.
Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment at Michael’s House
Each addiction is different, and the best programs meet each patient’s specific needs. Michael’s House is a prescription drug rehab center in Palm Springs that offers prescription drug addiction treatment programs of all kinds, including an integrated program to help people with addictions and mental health issues. Contact us today at 760.548.4032 to learn more about our prescription drug addiction treatment programs in Palm Springs.